Concerned about being Overqualified

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    As a new grad and second career RN, should I omit my master's degree in business from applications? I worry that it sends the message that I will move to administration when I have the chance and recruiters will not want to invest in me. (I have no interest in administration. I am 100% about bedside care.)

    What about a non-nursing bachelor's degree? Is it irrelevant or a distraction?

    Dear Concerned I’m Over Qualified,

    You can omit or de-emphasize your master’s degree and other unrelated education from your resume, but be very careful on a job application.

    The problem is that misrepresenting your credentials can be seen as lacking integrity. Job applications are signed documents attesting to the completeness and truthfulness of your responses.

    It’s not necessarily a negative to hold a degree in other fields. Achieving degrees shows dedication and determination- qualities every employer looks for.

    It shows who you are- a person who values higher education and professional development. Be transparent

    You really have no way of knowing if the reader how the reader will respond, and you can’t control their reaction. Avoid dumbing down yourself down because they might think you are “over-qualified”.

    At the same time, anticipate and address potential questions in the interview and even your cover letter.


    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,537; Likes: 4,550
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   BonnieSc
    While I've never been a recruiter or manager (I have been on hiring committees)... I wouldn't worry too much about this, at least not the "will they think I want to jump ship?" aspect. Very few new nurses expect to stay more than 2-5 years in their first position and everyone knows it. Most managers would actually be interested to hear that an applicant's eventual goal was administration, and that isn't even the case for you!

    I always put down my bachelor's degree in art history--it shows what I was doing for several years of my life, if nothing else--and have only gotten positive comments on it from recruiters and managers. I did have one manager warn me not to tell my new colleagues about it because they might be suspicious--this was a very blue collar town--but it turned out to be a non-issue. Obviously you aren't going to go around the floor talking about your MBA!
  4. by   CD Hill
    Dear Overqualified,

    I, like you, have additional degrees and experiences besides my LPN. First, and foremost, I spent 3 years pursuing a ADN with little success ending up with the LPN after an additional summer session. Secondly, I spent five years obtaining a bachelor's degree in social work, two more years getting a master's degree in thanatology (death, dying, and bereavement), and another year to obtain my associates degree in medical assisting. In short, I have worked too many years to become educated and I have the student debt to prove it. So, I refuse to hide anything off my resume.

    You should have an attitude similar to mine because all of your education and experiences have helped to shape you into the nurse that you are becoming. If a manager is uncomfortable with your education and experiences, do you really want him or her to hire you!!?? Be clear with what role you hope to fulfill and where your future interests lie within the facility interviewing you. Also, mention how the skills from your current degree and previous degrees will help the interviewer meet his or hiring needs. Like you, I am also looking for work as a new nurse. I wish you much luck with your job search and your impending position as a new RN. I hope this was helpful!